S-ECC S-EJC S-EAC O-TN-E O-TG-E WV-E CL-4 JV-E
Outstanding, GV-E RS-E,
Riley was my first agility dog. I would not be doing dog agility today if his love and easy mastery of the game hadn't carried me through the early years. His career was cut short by cancer, a bone cancer that I'm proud to say he overcame and survived, although he lost a front leg to it in 2007. He taught me everything I need to know about enjoying what I have, rather than what I'm missing.
The cancer would not win this one.
Shortly after his cancer treatments, Riley was stricken with degenerative myelopathy and he has spent the last 2 years defying the cruel disease that slowly robbed what abilities he had left. His resilience throughout was amazing – we often remarked that Riley was made of steel. When his spirit finally tired of fighting, we chose to cross the line that now divides what had seemed inseparable.
I hate to mention his illnesses, because he never let them define him. I remember him as funny, fearless, driven, social to a fault, athletic, a ham and a performer, devoted, photogenic, loving, and addicted to speed. If he had to go anywhere, he always ran. As I learned in his later years, he was also highly adaptable and the very definition of intrepid. We seemed to always understand each other, and he is the only dog I have ever "zoned" with on an agility course. He was my Champion.
How can I possibly thank enough my husband, Roger, who lovingly tended to Riley round-the-clock when I was at work or away? His years of care and patience were indispensable and beyond value to me.
Many special dogs that I know personally have crossed the Bridge (long before their due) during the time that I was still able to enjoy my Riley. We have been extremely fortunate for the extra time we were afforded after the cancer diagnosis, and I will always consider this an amazing gift.
Thank you and a-rrrooo, Riley. You shared the best years of my life, and that is forever ours. When you hit the ground over there, keep on running. I'll catch up.